THE revelation that Trafford Council will need to cut an additional £6 million from its 2014/2015 budget has sparked fury among opposition councillors and readers.
The budget, which was already subject to cuts of £17 million, would now face a total of £23 million, in this financial year alone.
As the Tory controlled authority now looks to identify where the additional £6m cuts will be made, opposition councillors have called for an emergency meeting, to discover what other services might now be hit.
Labour leader Cllr Dave Acton said: "Despite this £6 million black-hole in the budget, no official report has been brought to members of council to outline why this has been allowed to happen, what the catastrophic causes of this were, what implications arise from this significant financial shortfall for the people of Trafford, and ultimately, which Conservative councillor will take responsibility for this total mismanagement of the budget.
"Serious questions have to be asked about why the Conservative leadership did not have financial checking systems in place to pick up such irregularities in spending patterns. This will result in further massive cuts to services for the people of Trafford and further council job losses."
Trafford Council told Messenger it was standing by last week’s statement from council leader Sean Anstee in which he said: “All expenditure is being legitimately incurred and social care is by far the largest area of spend within the council, of which we have a statutory duty to support.
“Options for doing this (making savings), are currently being formulated and will be considered by elected members in the coming months."
Meanwhile on our website 'Watching' said: "Bring in the district auditor to inspect the books, they can audit the year end closing balance without any problem, I have seen them at work they won’t miss a trick, the more they find the deeper they will investigate."
Rollockybill commented: “Typical Tory arrogance to blame it on the needs of the vulnerable. No apologies for their mismanagement. Forgive me if I am ever so slightly sceptical.”
In a letter, reader P Munro, from Urmston, said: "Talk about the pot calling the kettle black! When Cllr Acton seems to have forgotten the times, not so long ago, when Labour simply threw money – most of it we didn’t actually have – at every problem and always with only, at best, the most fleeting glance at whether or not we could actually afford what they wanted to achieve."
In a letter, Trafford’s Green party’s spokeswoman Margaret Westbrook said: “What Trafford residents and employees need is real change and an end to the unrelenting demolition of our public infrastructure. It’s our duty and our privilege to care for those who are the most vulnerable in our society.”